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Wednesday, April 25, 2018
|My Girls (2 of 6 children)|
I have been a mom since I was 17 years old. So, my identity has been wrapped around motherhood for over 26 years. I cannot imagine NOT being a mom. I’ve always been the nurturing, mom-like figure amongst my friends, even at a young age.
But, parenting is EXHAUSTING. I have 6 children, 5 of which are 18 and under. If it’s not drama between siblings, it’s drama with school or work. Then, there’s the milestones that come along that make you stop and think, “my baby is growing up.” And, all the potential for their future. And, all the hurts they go through.
I had to tell more than one of my children that, “I wish I could shield you from the pain. But, the fact of the matter is that it would be wrong for me to do that. The pain is necessary for growth.”
I have been through a ton of hurt, pain and challenges that I would never want to see my children go through. Divorce. Homelessness. Poverty. Unemployment. Legal crap. But, I can’t keep them from those things either. They have seen who I’ve become because what I’ve gone through.
I don’t hide the truth from my children. With the 5 younger ones, I never bothered with Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy. Not because I wanted to deny them the magical stories, but because I never wanted them to view me as a liar. We just assigned different meanings to those holidays or events. And, it gave me the unique teaching moment to help them understand that everyone has their own beliefs.
Now, I’m dealing with driving lessons, dating issues, school activities and studies, children working and learning to save money. As well as still working on potty training the youngest, who will be starting school the same year her older sister graduates high school.
Parenting is a 24/7/365 job even if the kids are adults, like 26 years old, or a toddler of 4 years; and every age in-between. They are on my mind constantly. Everything they share with me, and what they don’t, is on my heart all the time.
I don’t believe, completely, that it’s a thankless job. And, some may disagree, but the way I view it:
My children are healthy. My children are smart. My children show compassion, love, honesty, empathy, amazing work ethic and have vision for their future. They are polite and know their manners. They are kind to other people, animals and have giving hearts.
So, even if they don’t thank me verbally for taking care of them; their gratitude shows in the way they live their lives. The people they are becoming. I couldn’t be more grateful for the blessings I’ve been given. I show them my gratitude and set the example.
Parenting is exhausting. Parenting is challenging. Parenting is rewarding. Parenting is LOVE to infinity and beyond. Parenting is the most ultimate, extreme, amazing “job” there’s ever been. If that’s the only job I’ve ever had, it would be worth every second and I’d never feel unfulfilled. In fact, if you know my story, you know my children are my saviors. If not for them, I would not be here today.
I love my children. I love my life. I am a joyfully empowered mom.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
How do you find motivation?
When things get tough, life gets rough, what do you do to change it up?
For me, it’s putting on a motivation playlist from YouTube that features positive influencers like Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Jim Rohn, Pastor Joel Osteen and Eric Thomas.
I let their voices cheer me on throughout the day. They constantly remind me of being disciplined, self-motivated and to work hard. They make me laugh, with their stories and anecdotes while still teaching me to do what I am passionate about. That I am here to THRIVE, not survive.
I also have a bunch of songs that get me moving. If I’m in a mental place where I need music (which I am often, daily) then I will listen to songs about overcoming challenges, being a fighter, not settling for anyone’s crap. And, let me tell you, some of these songs make me cry. But, not tears of sadness as much as tears of gratitude.
See, if you’ve never read my story, here’s the abridged version:
I was in a marriage that did not serve me very well. I have 5 children with that (ex) husband and they were my only source of happiness. I couldn’t find any happiness except when I was being their mom and doing my mom-thing. As much as I love them, I struggled with depression. Until one day, I was on the edge. If not for them, I wouldn’t be here today.
I made a change, a shift, in my reality. I knew the consequences but I also knew that ultimately, the rewards were far greater.
I walked away. I was away from my children (the most painful time in my life), homeless, jobless, car-less and no where to go.
Social services classified me as a High-Risk Abuse Victim.
I cried. I bawled. Then, I said, F*** this. I refuse to be a victim. And I started making moves towards a better life; a better me.
I knew that to become the woman (and mom) that I desired to be, I had to take massive action. So, I did. I set goals. I researched ways to achieve those goals. I learned who my support was (and it wasn’t who I thought it would be) and leaned on them as I made drastic changes in my life.
I surrounded myself with ONLY people that would lift me up. I listened to music and read content that was empowering and motivating.
I became my OWN motivation and I took massive action and made drastic changes.
Today, just a few short years later, I am building a business I love, helping other women. My children are healthy and happy and our relationships are loving. I have an amazing man as my partner for life and we both have big dreams and goals for our future together and our children’s futures.
My motivation had to come from within. I had to focus on what I wanted. I had to assign motivating meaning/definition to everything and anything I created in my life. Nothing changes overnight, because there is typically momentum already in place, but if you keep moving forward, towards your goals, you will start to create a life that motivates you AND motivates others.
The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. Invest in YOU because only you can create a life you love.
Thursday, April 5, 2018
You only get this one life, are you playing to WIN?!
The hashtag #YOLO was huge in recent months, but I wonder how many people lived by that hashtag, and how many just used it to tag pictures of their dinner from last night.
You Only Live Once is a wonderful phrase to toss around. However, too many of us just let the day-to-day drown us. Are you living a life on purpose or a life on auto-pilot?
Here's a crazy thought for you: Get up and DO something that makes a difference. Step away from the television, put down the phone, get out of your chair...and take a walk. Walk next door and say hello to your neighbor. Drive to the park and soak in some sun. Get on a train or bus and go to the end of the line.
Stop doing the same thing day in and day out if you're not living your dream life; if you're not impacting others. We are social creatures (which is why social media is powerful) and we need to interact with other people. Try this: say hello to the cashier at the store or the gas attendant. Ask them how they are, and LISTEN. Don't just do it to go through the motions.
Now that you're up and moving, let's talk about your dreams and goals. I mean your BIG dreams and goals.
What is it that you wanted to be when you were a child? Who did you look up to? What did you aspire to do?
Why did that change?
When you look at your life right now, are you giving 100% to every single waking hour? Or, are you just watching the minutes tick by until you can move on to the next thing? Are you bringing light, love, inspiration, motivation, happiness to the people around you with complete authenticity? Or, are you just hoping they will pass you by, leave you alone or go away completely?
You have all the talents, abilities and gifts you need to make your life anything you want it to be. But, in order to that, you have to stop playing small with your life. You have to step out of your comfort zone and aspire to be more, do more and have more.
And, it all starts with YOU TAKING ACTION.
The most important relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself. Invest in YOU because only you can create a life you love.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
When you wake up in the morning, DECIDE that you're going to have a great day.
Any decision that you make, when you first get up, is what you've told your brain to find evidence of.
Guess what, if you just make the declaration that you are going to have a great day, and do that EVERY day, you will start to see your whole life shift.
There's a saying: "Win the morning and you win the day."
People will say, "oh that's BS." or "that's positive thinking crap."
But I say: Maybe...but how is the negative BS working for you right now?
Every morning you wake up, it's New Year's Day! It's the first day of a new year, 365 days, where you can change your life to accomplish what you want.
Every morning you wake up, you have the potential to accomplish what you want. It's like having a clean slate. Every. Damn. Day.
But YOU have to DECIDE what you will do.
You may be reading this in the middle of the day, or before bed. I don't care, start NOW. Change the course that you are on if you are not happy with where you're going.
Would you stay on a bus or train that was taking you in the wrong direction?
No. Next stop, you're hopping off.
And even if another train or bus isn't coming, you're going to start walking, take a cab, call a friend to pick you up.
You're NOT going to stay where you don't desire to be.
Do that with your life. "Hop off" at the next chance you get and move in the direction you desire to go. The sooner you do it, the sooner you can get on the RIGHT PATH FOR YOU.
Plug into people and resources that will build you up and guide you, motivate and empower you.
Every morning, when I get up, I grab my coffee and my notebook. I plug into morning motivation videos on YouTube and journal what I am grateful for, what I will do today and what goals I will achieve.
Nothing Becomes Dynamic Until It Becomes Specific. I learned that from Dani Johnson many years ago.
Remember, the most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.
Take a stand for you. Take a stand for your life. Take a stand for all that is important to you.
This is your day!
Friday, February 23, 2018
Have you met the goals you set for the New Year?
Are you on target to achieve them?
So many of us strive to make resolutions or goals for the New Year. Then, LIFE HAPPENS. Those that achieve their goals don't wait for the New Year to set in motion the events that will get them where they want to go.
Guess what? No matter where you are right now, as long as you DECIDE that you want to get to somewhere better (whatever that is for you), you have taken the first step to achieve what you desire.
But, what is lacking for most is ACTION. See, making a decision means you are willing to strive towards what you want. But, a decision without ACTION, just turns into a dream; a hope that you may get to where you want to be.
It's not magic.
It takes ACTION.
So, you've still got 10 months to hit your goals for 2018. How can you get there?
Look at the desired goal. Then, create a plan, working backwards. Go all the way back to today. What can you do TODAY to get to your goals?
Don't fear change.
Don't fear failure.
Don't fear pain.
Don't fear success.
Don't fear rejection.
Don't fear other's opinions.
- Change is necessary. If you continue doing what you're doing, you'll continue getting what you're getting.
- Failure is a part of learning. When something doesn't work, learn, and try again.
- Pain is what will help heal you. You grow through the pain and come out stronger.
- Success is whatever YOU define it to be. And, being successful will change your life. And, as I said....Change is necessary.
- Rejection is not always personal. It's often the rejection of thoughts, ideas, situations, that the other person doesn't know how to accept. Why? Because they have FEAR.
- Other people's opinions do not serve you nearly as much as YOUR opinion of YOURSELF. Sometimes, opinions can give you insight, perspective, encouragement. However, they are not as important as what you believe about yourself.
You were not put on this earth to survive, you were put here to THRIVE. The goals that you had in the beginning of the year, if important enough, will be achieved by the end of this year IF...
you take action,
you have a plan,
you are open to change,
you fail forward,
you grow through the pain,
you define and embrace success,
you don't take rejection personally,
you value your opinion of yourself
Remember, the most important relationship you will EVER have in your life is the one you have with YOURSELF. So, work on YOU and as you do, your mind will shift, and the world will shift with you.
Believe in YOU. That's where it all begins.
I believe in you.